Shoot You Down


A plaintive wail which I often hear is along the lines of,

“Why do you always have to shoot me down? I give you everything you could ever want. Why can’t you just be happy with that?”

As usual you delude yourself with such a statement. You do not give me everything I could ever want. You think that you do, but that is the self-centredness that you often exhibit creeping in once again. You certainly care, I will grant you that, but you make the mistake of assuming what you do is what we want. What we want is fuel. I know what comes next.

“I always told you how much I loved you, I admired and complimented you often and frequently. How much more could I make you feel good about yourself?”

Therein lies the problem. No matter how good your intentions and how frequent your worship of me, my kind and me will always grow tired of it. We have heard your kind words and seen your appreciative gestures too many times and it, well, it just does not do it for us anymore. I am sure that you emotionally in touch people would be the first to complain if a long established partner engages in the same routine in the bedroom. It does not hit the spot anymore does it? Well, it is just the same for us. You may ultimately accept that things cool somewhat in the bedroom and I know from what I have seen and heard that you trade this passion off (although not always, there are some sexual thrill seekers amongst your kind) for other qualities that you find attractive – humour, companionship, security, warmth, good parental skills, intelligence and such like. There is no hope for any such trade with us. We only want one thing from our relationship. Fuel. We do not care (ultimately) how good-looking you are, how much of a whore you are between the sheets, how wonderful a mother you may be, what a raconteur you are or how much you earn. We will never accept those things or anything else as a substitute for fuel. True enough, the more aged of our kind sometimes accept these things when their need for fuel diminishes but that need never goes away. They may decide to accept these attributes alongside largely positive fuel, but they will still need to stir things up from time to time.

That is not going to happen with me. I am at the peak of my powers and therefore my need for fuel remains substantial. There can be no substitute for it at all and nor can there be any co-existence between the provision of fuel and other attributes. It is fuel or nothing. In order to achieve this I have to shoot you down because once that is done you start to flow with the potent negative fuel and my cravings start to be addressed. You can beg and plead with me, you can point out how you will always only ever have eyes for me, you can express your love, desire, adoration and admiration on an hourly basis but there comes a point when it just does not have that sweetness anymore. It is then that I pull the handgun from my jacket, attach the silencer and fire several vitriolic bullets into you. Your pain from these wounding bullets gives me the fuel that I need and therefore your shooting is necessary. Moreover, it is your punishment for letting me down. You really ought to be capable of pleasing me the whole time but so far, all that I have chosen have failed. That is why I now expect you to fail and have that gun to hand at all times.

When I shoot you down, I become more powerful as the fuel flows from you. Moreover, it is easy to get someone to admire and adore. Those reactions come naturally to your kind. It is far harder to extract tears, anger, frustration and regret from the empath. Managing to do so imbues your emotional reaction with greater potency, your fuel becomes supercharged and this is what we want. We cannot shoot you down from the beginning, we need you stood on a pedestal first, after all, you present as such an inviting target then and your toppling as the bullets slam into you becomes all the more satisfying.

I sense your dismay as you read this. You had hoped that by keeping me sweet and onside through a dazzling and tireless display of love, affection and admiration you had hoped to avoid such an attack. Your concerns should not be absolute. There is an upside you know. Firstly, when we find someone else after we have shot you down, keep in mind they will eventually be riddled with bullet holes no matter how happy we both appear at first. It is coming to them as it came to you. I am sure that makes you feel a little better doesn’t it? Secondly, there is a huge saving grace.

We never shoot you dead.

We need you alive so we can raise you up again as we re-load.

53 thoughts on “Shoot You Down

  1. Iris says:

    Something I wasn’t looking for and didn’t need at all. I did it for him as he said he needed some honest opinions about his behavior.

    My God, the things narcs do to get some fuel hahaha.

  2. Iris says:

    Something I wasn’t looking for and didn’t need at all. I did it for him as he said he needed some honest opinions about his behaviour.

    My God, the things narcs do to get some fuel hahaha.

  3. Iris says:

    Thanks HG, but there was no alliance there as we weren’t together anymore and he also made it very clear that he felt responsible for my unhappiness. That is what makes it so weird. It was like he understood.

    Fortunately it isn’t important to me anymore as I haven’t seen him in ages, but I remain curious about it. I’m sure he has forgotten all about it by now.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Ah I see, so you were no longer in a Formal Relationship when he made these disclosures. I suspect he was low on fuel and therefore was hoovering for some sympathy fuel with this apparent disclosure.

  4. Iris says:

    Yes Windstorm, he was probably acting, playing the victim, something that comes naturally to a midranger anyway.

    The funny thing though, he didn’t say he was going to change and he didn’t seem to want anything from me besides my honest opinion about his behaviour, which I gave him.

    And he told me why he did the things he did and how it felt at the time. What he said made perfect sense compared to what I’ve read online about midrangers afterwards, so he seemed to have some awareness about his disorder. Not that he knew it was a disorder though (and neither did I at the time).

    For example: he watched a video he made of me when we were together and saw how unhappy I looked and he knew now he made me that way, where as before he would have blame it all on me (I was dull and lifeless).

    I still makes me wonder what it was all about. Maybe HG can shine some light on this strange behaviour?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There will be some awareness as to the effects of the behaviour and that it hurts people, upsets them, angers them and so forth. Ordinarily, as explained previously, whilst there is this recognition there is no acceptance of culpability, so it appears as some form of contrition, but it is not. The narcissist may draw sympathy if they blame a third party agent for the source of his ‘wayward’ behaviour or annoyance or hurt if the victim is being blamed.

      If there is no rejection of blame, the MR narcissist is not experiencing a break through but is rather unconsciously concerned they are losing control over the alliance and therefore issue a mea culpa in order to try to exert the control again. Once it is established, the rejection of blame will re-appear on a later occasion through the compartmentalisation that is applied.

  5. Iris says:

    Thanks for your explanation Windstorm, I guess you’re right about their ability to compartmentalize.

    I’ve tried pointing out their inconsistencies, hypocrisy and double standards to my 2 midrange ex-boyfriends too.

    The first one was in a deep depression when I spoke with him, after he hoovered me 10 years (!) after our break up, because he lost all of his sources of supply at the same time (wife, house, money, job).

    He seemed to have an epiphany and was very honest about the reasons for his cruel behaviour towards me. I learned a lot from him. He also seemed to accept my opinion about his behaviour and seemed embarrassed by it. His insight was fleeting though, because it disappeared as soon as he started to heal again (or maybe it was all an act, who knows).

    The second one is my current ex-boyfriend: he was a hopeless case. No insight at all. He really thought that he was sweet and thoughtful towards me and that I was difficult and unstable.

    I knew it wasn’t me though, because my bullshit meter was still working, but I couldn’t get through to him, but somehow I always felt that he knew all too well what I was talking about, but he was just messing with my mind. That’s what makes it so confusing.

    1. Windstorm2 says:

      They were probably both just messing with your mind. The first one, the one who was depressed – he may have been playing a role. I’ve seen midrangers get all into something like it’s really important to them, that’s how they really are, they’re really going to change this way – but they are really just sort of playing a role. Almost like they’re trying to convince themselves or they’ve just had an epiphany, when what they really are doing is more like play acting because they think it will benefit them.

      Being depressed, having some serious sickness can both be this type of playacting. And maybe in midrangers some part of them actually believes it’s true. But it’s not and they will eventually lose interest in that game and move onto something else. I’ve learned to just take everything they say with a grain of salt and think of my interactions with them like watching an actor on stage. Listening to a midranger is like the weather in Kentucky, wait a little while and it will change.

  6. Iris says:

    I see fuel as the dopamine rush they get when they see another person’s strong emotions caused by them. They are totally addicted to that rush, i.e. they are junkies.

    What I struggle with though is their level of awareness or better said: lack of awareness.

    I know that they see themselves as basically good people (at least midrangers do) and they truly believe themselves when they tell you how nice and decent they are when they are love bombing you.

    But they also know they mirror, lie and manipulate you when they do it. How can this be? How does this work?

    1. Windstorm2 says:

      I think that’s where the ability to compartmentalize comes in. They just think of each thing totally separately and never compare their actions together to see that what they do is not consistent with their self-image.

      I’ve tried pointing out their inconsistencies to various narcs. It seems that they almost acknowledge them, but then they back up and deny the truth – often very forcefully and irrationally. As HG says, they fight the truth instinctively because it hurts. I’ve only done this with midrange family members. Doubt it would be safe to do with lessers. No point with greaters. They already know, but feel they have a deeper plan.

      1. jenna says:

        Windstorm and iris,

        “They just think of each thing totally separately and never compare their actions together to see that what they do is not consistent with their self-image.”

        This is v easy to understand now! Ty!

  7. Antifragile says:

    HG, do you remember your very first Primary? Is there a special place in your memory for the person with whom you discovered all this fuel thing for the first time?
    (Or maybe you still hoover her sometimes?)

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I do.

      1. Iris says:

        My ex narc still idolizes his first “love” and has her on a pedestal. She is the golden standard. Is yours too?

        1. HG Tudor says:


      2. jenna says:

        ‘I do’ meaning there is a special place in ur memory for her or meaning u still hoover her? Or both? Ty.

        1. HG Tudor says:


          1. jenna says:

            Oh, so the ‘i do’ was for ‘do you remember your very first primary?’

            What abt the ‘indeed’? Was it in reply to the question of your first ‘love’ being your ‘golden standard’?

            Or let me just ask Antifragile and iris’s question again, if i may:

            Hg, do u hold a special memory for ur first ipps? And is she ur gold standard in terms of fuel? Ty.

          2. HG Tudor says:

            I remember the very first primary. Yes that individual is the golden standard.

          3. jenna says:

            Ty hg.

          4. jenna says:


            One more question abt this if i may:

            Is ur first primary ur golden standard a)simply becoz she was ur first, or b)becoz her fuel was greatest in terms of quality, quantity, and frequency?


          5. HG Tudor says:

            Wait and see.

          6. jenna says:

            Sure hg. No rush.

          7. HG Tudor says:

            I know.

          8. jenna says:

            I meant “no rush, take ur time”

            Damn, that sounds like a command too, now that i think abt it!

            And i thought i was pretty good knowing what phrases to avoid w a narc!

            Keep reading jenna!

          9. MLA - Clarece says:

            I believe you told me once your ex-wife, at the time you were dating her, had given you the most potent positive fuel, and that was what differentiated her from others for you.

      3. geyserempath says:

        Hurrah…this means HG is doing another article on the first “love” IPPS of the Golden Standard! Which I am looking forward to. My ex Narc loves every photo on FB of his first “love” from high school. She can do no wrong and earns hearts on her posts.

  8. Noname says:

    That article is the one I was thinking about the most. It forced me to contemplate the concept of Fuel. Why do Narcs need it and, especially, FOR WHAT. What internal problems the Fuel is capable resolve in them.

    Positive Fuel – Adoration.
    That unites ALL Narcs.
    It resolves (temporarily though) the profound “not good enough” childhood trauma they ALL have. No matter who had traumatized them, they all need the validation and admiration to get rid of that torturing feeling. They impove themselves in many ways to get that admiration – achievements – sport, business, art, politics, etc. The more successful and admired they are, the less they feel uncomfortable with their “not good enough” internal condition. The Positive Fuel concept is absolutely logic and understandable. The Positive Fuel doesn’t cure the Narc’s problem. It is a mere painkiller.

    Negative Fuel.
    It is the paradox. Knowing how much the Narcs crave for validation and admiration, it wasn’t clear why they evoke the negative reaction (name calling, shouting, tears, offenses, etc.) towards themselves. It contradicts to a Narc’s Nature! They deeply, profoundly, genuinely want to be “good enough”. So, why do they provoke such very opposite (to their profound internal needs) reaction?!


    They unconsciously (or consciously) punish their “primary punisher” – the person who had traumatized them – the person who had implanted “you are never good enough” knowledge. The “primary punisher’s” gender is a crucial point. It determines the Narcs’ future life style.

    If the “primary punisher” was a MAN (in the most common cases it was a FATHER), the Narcs punish all of men for that for the rest of their lives. Those Narcs often become homosexual and desperately try to prove, that they are “good enough” for their internal “primary punisher”, using other men as an subconscious substitution of the “primary punisher” in the real life. If they fail to prove it, they DEVALUATE and punish those men in the cruel way. The constant attemp to find someone, who can ACCEPT them (because their father never did it; moreover, their father never gave a CLOSURE to them!), explains their promiscuity. Not obsessive desire to have a sex drives them. No. They try to find the “one”, salvation, cure, never understanding that they are looking at wrong direction. Kevin Spacey is an excellent example!

    If the “primary punisher” was a WOMAN (in the most common cases it was a MOTHER), we have the same dynamic, but the Narcs’ “victims” are women. Those Narcs fly from one woman to another trying to prove to their “internal frustrating mother”, that they are “good enough”, that they deserve to be loved and accepted. When Narcs can’t get it from their women, they punish them. Insults, violence, rape, sadistic behavior, promiscuity, murder, all of them are the segments of the same “punishing pattern”. They admire and hate their “internal mothers” at the same time and their abusive behavior towards their real women is a classis projection of the internal war they have with their “frustrating mothers” inside of them. They bring their “internal war” to the real life.

    Watching the woman’s tears, pain, agony, vulnerability, weakness, they have an illusion of “victory” upon their “primary punisher”. Finally, finally (!) they feel as they are “good enough”! They feel exstatic. They feel POWERFUL, omnipotent. “I did it! I won! I won!!!”… Of course, it is an illusion. They didn’t really win. Their “frustrating mother” continues to live inside of them and do her “dark job”. The cycle starts again… The Negative Fuel doesn’t cure the Narc’s problem and it isn’t a mere painkiller. It is a killer of Narc’s SELF-RESPECT also.

    The sons of Matrinarc have another crucial problem. Aside of women (“they all are bitches and traitors”), they don’t RESPECT MEN also. In the most cases, the father in the Matrinarc’s family is a submissive person and totally disrespected by her. Moreover, the Matrinarc actively shows to her son, that the father (and all men in general) is a “trash”. Trying to win the Matrinarc’s approval, the young boy denies his masculinity, because he doesn’t want to be a “trash-man” like he thinks (illusionary) his father is. The young boy never grows up. He doesn’t want to be a mature man, because it means he would be like his “trash-father” and, in that case, his Matrinarc would’t love and accept him. He doesn’t want to disappoint his “dear mother”. He subconsciously stops his maturation and remains “forever young”. Imature. Irresponsible. Superficial. Capricious. Empty.

    That narcissistic “boy-man” isn’t ready to meet a WOMAN in a serious way. Have you ever seen as a small child tryes to copy the adults gestures, not knowing exactly what those gestures mean? The Narcy men do the same. They copy the adult’s behavior also. They parrot friendship, love, sex, relationship, family life dynamic, but they, like a children, don’t understand what all of that really means. Their Matrinarcs never explained the real meaning and VALUE of those things to them, because they never had that knowledge also…

    That’s a real life tragedy.


    1. Brian says:

      I dont know for sure, but I think a lot of what you wrote could very well be true.

  9. Susan Kay says:

    Frank, unapologetic, and beautifully brutal.

    It is like the darkest of the black dramedies, this entanglement. An emotional rollercoaster with something for everyone; romance, drama, comedy, death, dismemberment, hostage situations, gun play…

  10. Nuit Étoilée says:

    Holding up the mirror, the narc says these things too
    “How can you treat me like this when I gave you the perfect love?”
    – who said it was perfect?

    “How can you leave me when no one will ever love you the way I do?”
    (well, there is truth to that…) – how do you know how I’ve been loved?

    I remain convinced that perhaps we empaths, since we feel so deeply.. do not actually completely accept as sincere these professions of “love” and somewhere, perhaps the narc becomes frustrated at his attempts not being received as honest.. they are not, but he doesn’t realize it (or if he does, perhaps he senses the empath sees through him?)

    .. classic projection then? – you are frustrated with yourself, the inability to be content on your own, self-sufficient, and it becomes our fault..

    .. it’s just so frustrating, because we want to be the one to help, to fill the void.. to be enough for the two of us…

    but you’re right.. it’s not possible..

    I used to rather want to be with you than on my own, but you’ve taught me, I’m better off without you.

    Thank you HG for these awful lessons.. the danger of the analogy of being shot, the cold-blooded calculation, and the honest admission that it will happen again.. and again.. repeatedly..

    ..must.. run.. away..

    There are quite a few of these awfully good posts that I listen to over and over to remain strong – How long can you resist is on that list too 🙂

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  11. Thank you for the validation.


  12. narc affair says:

    This basically sums up the narc cycle. The reason we cant keep a narc fueled is bc it must come from the narc themselves but they dont see this they see fuel coming from others. They lack self worth and are codependant on others to feel that self worth but you yourself have to feel that! People are fallible and to rely on any one person to make you feel good will only disappoint. A narcissist needs to learn to find that from within that is where the problem lies.
    With my narc i can sense when hes getting bored and ready to start his downward spiral and i beat him to the punch by pulling away. Ive found this helps diffuse the situation but theres still times im shelved or he will say or do something that catches me offguard and upsets me. He did something the other day where i was looking at his tree and he came up to it and asked if id gotten him a certain ornament and he has an incredibly memory so i knew this was a game of some kind. I told him no and he says hmm i wonder who got it for me? Insinuating or hinting other women buy him gifts aside from me. A very covert tactic.
    I find quite often when he pulls his gun of devaluing out to shoot me is when he feels insecure over something and lack of so called potent fuel can be just that. His other fuel sources im sure diffuse the gun on me as well. When they fuel him he is fine going into the shelving phase of friendship. Too true about the silencer. His is dead quiet to the point i second guess if ive been shot down.

  13. arshalys82 says:

    HG, what is fuel ? Compliments? Praise? Having someone agree with you all the time? Attention negative or positive? Someone that entertains your delusional thoughts ? I’m just trying to understand what it is … I keep asking my husband what is it that he wants … He tells me “I have no fucking idea, I just want to be normal, I don’t want to be like this” ….

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Read the book ‘Fuel’

      1. arshalys82 says:

        I have read the book … I guess I can’t wrap my mind around it

        1. Windstorm2 says:

          My conception of fuel is that it’s any emotional response that a narc causes in another person. It’s like they feed off emotions and emotional responses, but they have to be the ones that caused the emotions. It lets them feel powerful. That’s the real fuel – the sense of power they get from manipulating others people, but they recognize this successful manipulation from our emotional responses to them and their actions.

      2. Tappan Zee says:

        I really wrestle with the concept of fuel too. Like “what is it.” I get the need. And the math. But the actual substance, what it feels like and manifests as to you, no. Read the book, yes. And loads of posts. I can pretend to get it. On an intellectual level I go, okaaay. But really? No. I do not.

    2. Blank says:

      In short: any words and especially emotions that are directed at the narc, that are somehow about the narc, positive or negative. It’s all about him, not about you. You might as well stop asking what it is he wants, because you are never going to get an answer to that. He just wants you in his live to abuse you. Over and over again. That’s it. I am sorry, there’ll be no fairytale ending if you are with a narc. You can either take it or leave it. Him that is. Which I recommend you to do, if you want to have a life.

  14. arshalys82 says:

    HG, what is fuel ? Compliments? Praise? Having something agree with you all the time? Attention negative or positive? Someone that entertains your delusional thoughts ? I’m just trying to understand what it is … I keep asking my husband what is it that he wants … He tells me “I have no fucking idea, I just want to be normal, I don’t want to be like this” ….

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There is no point asking him, he does not know (or if in the rare instance he is a Greater and does know, he is not going to volunteer it to you).

  15. mb says:

    Oh. My. Gosh. ☹️ Never to truly know the absence of empathy that would make this cycle of destruction possible personally , wonderment at how must it ‘feel’ to administer this repeatedly with no remorse. it’s horrifying. I lived it . That’s why it’s so malignant, the sense of supreme betrayal as we watch the one we gave all we could for coldly wound us over and over . Then when we moan in agony bleeding out no compassion just blame hatred and cold apathy. Then Nex turns it around & Im the bad guy. Unfreakingbelievable. Thx HG for drilling it home a thousand different ways till we eek out the resolve to push it away for good .

  16. SandraDee says:

    This is horrible but very true😞😞

  17. Patricia J says:

    Sorry, true.

  18. Windstorm2 says:

    Of course, by this point you’re probably not being all we want/need either. If we’re perceptive we may have caught glimpses of the gun and taken measures to protect ourselves. Especially if we grew up in a similar situation.

    1. Patricia J says:

      Very yrue WS2. Ate you Native American?

      1. Windstorm2 says:

        Patricia J
        No Native American that I know of. Seem to be mainly Irish/Scottish/German with a Little French. Never had a genealogy test done, though. Far as I know I’m your typical mutt American who’s probably criminal ancestors changed their names when they immigrated to escape their past.

    2. E. B. says:


      Re: “… who’s probably criminal ancestors changed their names when they immigrated to escape their past.”
      Family secrets… I have a similar suspicion about my narc mother’s relatives and their past. They were supposed to come from Austria but I suspect they were Germans. Today I would be able to tell from their accent if they were Austrians or not but they passed away before I was born. My mother was a pathological liar and a racist. I ignored all her nasty comments about Jewish friends of mine she had not even met before and had done nothing to her because she was ignorant and evil. It did not surprise me when I was able to check one of the things she had told me about her past and it turned out to be a lie. She was too ignorant to achieve what she said she had achieved and done. I could see through her and she hated me for it.

      1. Windstorm2 says:

        Your narc ancestors must have been more imaginative than mine were! Mine refused to even talk about the past. My father didn’t even know the names of his great grandparents- his family refused to speak of them. Immigration seems to be a great way for narcs to start over and reinvent themselves.

        1. E. B. says:

          I love your last sentence!- Haha

  19. geyserempath says:

    OMG, HG, I love you. I have endlessly flattered and done things to appease my narc and I always complimented and lavished him with love and yet here I sit, perhaps devalued, a shelved IPSS. I could never figure out why whatever I did was never enough as it had been in the beginning. This article is so insightful and helpful. Thank you so much!

    1. Lisbeth says:

      OMG is right.

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